China discusses Kim's death with US, South Korea

China discusses Kim's death with US, South Korea

BEIJING - Agence France-Presse
China discusses Kims death with US, South Korea

In this image made from KRT television, the body of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is laid in a memorial palace in Pyongyang, North Korea, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011. AP photo

China said Tuesday it had held telephone talks with the United States and South Korea on the importance of ensuring security on the Korean peninsula after the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi spoke by phone with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-Hwan, foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told a regular media briefing.

They "agreed it is important to maintain peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and would maintain close communication and coordination with the Chinese side", Liu said.

Yang also promised that China would "make concerted efforts with all sides" to ensure security in the region, Liu added.

Beijing, Pyongyang's closest ally, has thrown its backing behind Kim Jong-Un, the third son and chosen successor of Kim Jong-Il whose death was announced by North Korean state media on Monday.

China is expected to boost support for its nuclear-armed neighbour as it seeks to avoid a potentially destabilising power struggle in the Stalinist regime.

On Monday, US President Barack Obama and South Korea's President Lee Myung-Bak spoke by phone and agreed to coordinate closely on national security.